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All Creatures Great and Small Paperback – August 1, 2004
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"Herriot has a real flair for writing and his book is a treat." -- Publishers Weekly
"James Herriot . . . is one of those rare men who know how to appreciate the orddinary . . . a natural storyteller." -- The New York Times
"One of the funniest and most likeable books around." -- The Atlantic Monthly
"This warm, joyous and often hilarious first-person chronicle of a young animal doctor . . . shines with love of life." -- The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
James Herriot (1916-1995) was the bestselling author of memoirs including All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, and Every Living Thing. At age 23, Herriot qualified for veterinary practice with the Glasgow Veterinary College, and moved to the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire to work in a rural practice. He would live in, work in, and write about the region for the rest of his life. Though he dreamed for years of writing a book, his veterinary work and his family kept him busy, and he did not start writing until the age of 50. In 1979, he was awarded the title Order of the British Empire (OBE). His veterinary practice in Yorkshire, England, is now tended by his son, Jim Wight.
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Herriot's books, of course, are set in the northern English countryside, complete with all the "delicious" dialects that are characteristic of the region. He captures the local atmosphere brilliantly -- in recalling all the colorful characters (both animal and human) he meets while conducting his rounds and they are "delicious." As in the Mitford Series, there are squabbles and courtships, trials and triumphs and an endless number of humorous anecdotes to enjoy and you will come away feeling you've had a lovely vacation in the North Country amid some of the friendliest folk around.
This is James first book, where he tells about meeting his employer, the area, the people and of course the animals he deals with.
After all the trash we run across daily what a breath of fresh air.
Herriot is a good writer and keeps things moving along..
A word to the wise, do not loan out your James Herriot books they don't find their way back, people like and keep them because they
are so good to read....
I recommend them for all ages, read to those too young to read, those who like animals and someone who needs a lift at the
end of the day...
One also learns of the language of England and the mountain folks...Those of us who have worked around animals most of
our lives really enjoy what James needs to deal with daily..
You have not lived until you have run across a muddy pen wearing big overshoes in 30 degree below zero with a mad cow
blowing snot in your back pocket, nope ..
I'm not unfamiliar with the life and characters as portrayed in the books, but she's finding it a new experience that perhaps goes part way to explain some of the little idiosyncrasies that she's come to expect. I never could read the stories without hearing the accents (and dialects) in my head; although I'm not from Yorkshire and was born after the events described in them, but they still manage to create a wistful remembrance of things past (that are probably less common in the 21st century) and with a little experience having seen a vitnery at work on a farm, doubly so.
I suppose that somebody with a little experience of farm animals or even pets would feel an empathy with one or more of the situations described in the books; that's the way it is for me, but what stands out more than that are the characters. If you've been around long enough, no matter where it has been, you probably recognize the characters of Siegfried and Tristan, and the way that Herriot has to deal with them in the midst of four-legged characters who can be even more cranky or wanton.
I know somebody who's read the book and feels that all he needs then is a good Yorkshire pint or three, a view of the dales and drinking partners with dry wistful humour to make it through the day. Sometimes, I agree.